Pond Life

Music Of / Musique de Ann Southam

2009
Centrediscs / Centredisques

In 2008, following the critical and public success of her mammoth collection of piano works Rivers, Canadian composer Ann Southam proceeded to write more pieces inspired by rivers for pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. This two-CD set collects all of these works, as performed by Petrowska Quilico, in stunning World premiere recordings supervised by the composer.

CD 1:

1. Spatial View of Pond 1

2. Noisy River

3. Soundstill IV

4. Soundstill VI

5. Soundstill VII

6. Sounstill VIII

7. Soundstill IX

8. Soundstill X

9. Commotion Creek

10. Soundstill V


CD 2:

1. Fidget Creek

2. Sounstill I

3. Soundstill II

4. Soundstill III

5. Fiddle Creek

6. Spatial View of Pond 2

7. Pond Life I

8. Pond Life II

9. Pond Life III

10. Pond Life IV

American Record Guide
"The 20 pieces on these two discs-various views of 'Pond Life'..are pleasantly contemplative, ideal for the 'multi-tasking' of contemporary life. Christina Petrowska Quilico, who works closely and interactively with Southam, has a delicate touch and gets a lucid, suitably spatial recording."

- Jack Sullivan
Fanfare Magazine : Raymond Tuttle
"I review another of Quilico's Centrediscs releases in this issue (Ann Southam's Pond Life), and what I wrote there about her attention to tonal color also applies here. These three concertos also allow her to show off her pianistic muscles, however, and she has plenty to show off. Her playing is as tough and assertive as the repertoire). This is a fine addition to her discography, and I hope we will continue to hear much more from this pianist-in both familiar and unfamiliar repertoire-in coming years. Recommended!"

- Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine
July/August 2010
Fanfare Magazine : Peter Burwasser
"Christina Petrowska Quilico plays all of this music with vivid brio, always finding a lucid textural balance with the orchestra. Her rock-steady rhythmic pulse and palpable enthusiasm seem to beg the listener to pay attention to the music, as if to say that none of this deserves obscurity."

- Peter Burwasser, Fanfare Magazine
July/August 2010
The Wholenote Magazine
"Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico is the soloist on 3 Concerti, a disc which serves to remind us that there is a grand tradition of concerto writing in this country and begs the question -why are they so rarely played? Of the three, Louie's is the most exotic.the work is a skilful and exuberant blending of East and West. Petrowska Quilico is in fine form with the National Arts Orchestra, under Alex Pauk..Kuzmenko is an unabashed Romantic whose model seems to be Rachmaninov, although here too I sense the influence of Bartok. The work is flamboyantly virtuosic and Petrowska Quilico takes full advantage of the opportunity to rise to the occasion. It is a well-crafted, dramatic work that would be well at home on any mainstream orchestral concert and, like others on this disc, deserves to be heard more often."

- David Olds, Wholenote Magazine, Editors Corner
April/May 2010
La Scena
"4 stars..the concerto by Kuzmenko astonishes by her energy and her virtuosity. This live recording is of stunning quality and does justice to the composers and interpreters. This beautiful disc will please lovers of piano in search of new repertoire."

- La Scena
Printemps 2010 Spring
Fanfare Magazine : Raymond Tuttle
"Southam's piano (like Satie's)...does require a pianist who is exquisitely sensitive to sound per se, and that describes Christina Petrowska Quilico. I interviewed this pianist for Fanfare many years ago, was impressed with her work then, and continue to be so now. Her attention to tone color ensures that this music remains interesting and inviting, even when it operates within a rather narrow circumference. Her concentration never flags, and as a result, neither does ours. This pair of discs---recorded in a single day, unusually enough-boasts realistic and well-balanced sound."

- Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine
July/August 2010
Sequenza21
Southam's Pond Life as compositional ecosystem

"Petrowska Quilico is sensitive to the delicate balance of Southam's compositional ecosystem, playing with assured pacing and nuanced phrasing.... Pond Life is a recording that, while primarily gentle on the surface, is consistently attention-grabbing."

- Christian Carey, www.sequenza21.com
The Ottawa Citizen
Pond Life "Exquisite......"

"Take any 2 or 3 of the 20 short pieces and you'll hear exquisiteness...Christina Petrowska Quilico has long been the dean of Canadian new music pianists and her mastery of Southam's music here shows why."

- Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen
The Wholenote Magazine
"Most of these works were written for Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, who in 2005 recorded Southam's Rivers, also on Centrediscs. Her virtuosic command of the keyboard brings these works to life. With theatrical flair she balances the fine gradations in pitch and rhythm to create subtle shifts in mood, from nostalgic contemplation to irrepressible joy."

- Pamela Margles, The WholeNote
Showtime Magazine
"One can hear in this music the teeming life on both sides of the water's surface. Tiny fish dart and hang and dart again, bugs skitter on the shining water skin that breaks when fish lips pop through to swallow a fly. In some pieces, there is the sense of the kind of silent liveliness that appears in a single drop of water put under a microscope. Miss Southam captures the textures of breezes and the flow of clouds across the waters, the sparkle of light and suffusion of shade.

"She achieves an effect of lyrical introspection using minimalist methods that allow the mind to relax into a sense of familiarity with material. <b>Petrowska Quilico's sensitive touch and grasp of the shifting tempi and rhythms surely guide the listener's ear through the subtle changes. Anyone interested in living music from this country, or anyone open to being guided by music along a spiritual journey will enjoy this album."

– Stanley Fefferman, Showtime Magazine (www.showtimemagazine.com)